3 kids and countless yells later, it's finally time for me to make a change around here. I admit, I yell. I yell to get their attention, I yell to correct their behavior and I yell out of frustration. Not every day, thank goodness. But more often than I'd like, and more often than is good for my kids. It's pitiful that it has taken me this long to come to that conclusion. My head is hanging in shame.
I do have to give myself some credit (because I'm already feeling bad enough admitting I yell too much) that I do have a lot more patience since Lorelai was born. I think it's a result of Logan (mostly) growing out of his really challenging behavior issues and me realizing with Lorelai that since she's my last, I need to really enjoy every last minute, crying fits included. Perspective is a wonderful thing sometimes.
It was a lot easier to have patience when I was just dealing with a baby crying because she didn't know any better. But the terrible threes are a different beast, apparently. Lorelai is willful and purposful with her defiance now. She says "no" because she has her very own opinion and wants it to be known. I know this is age-appropriate testing of boundaries and becoming independent, which is great. What's not great is how I deal with it.
After being sick most of the weekend (poor, sweet thing) and losing sleep, she's turned into a total raging grump. Quick to say "no" and quick to meltdown into hysterics. Which is exactly what happened this morning when she changed her mind on the clothes we picked out yesterday and I had the audacity to ask her to go pee when she woke up (dry! for the first time maybe ever!). I was fine picking out different clothes, offering her a few different options. I also offered options on the potty, letting her pick which one to use. Too many options maybe? Because tantrums. Me and her, and it was ugly. She didn't know what she wanted any more, and I only wanted one thing--to get out of the house and to work on schedule.
She yelled just as much as I did (although she did a lot more crying, kicking and screaming) and seeing her yell at me like that was like looking in a mirror. Of course I didn't like what I saw. Guilt ensued, lots of hugs and kisses and apologies were given, but my mood was ruined as of 7:30 on a Monday morning.
So I decided it's time to take the Orange Rhino challenge. Aidan, Logan and Lorelai deserve better from me. I love them no matter what, but in the heat of the moment when I yell, I would HATE to think they ever doubt that. I'm going to start with 1 month of no yelling and see how I do, and I'm going to hold myself accountable on the blog because it's out there. 1 month, no yelling.
I want my kids to behave properly, show respect, and properly cope with anger/frustration, so I have to model it for them. Duh, right? Like I said, my head is hanging in shame that I'm 9+ years into parenting and just now "officially" committing to practicing what I preach with them. Better late than never? Yes, that.
What kind of a person could yell at these sweet faces?!
Wish me luck...
PS: As I was tucking the boys into bed tonight, I asked them if I yelled too much, and Aidan said no. So at least that's not how he sees me (yet). Logan chose not to comment.